Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

The playoffs are upon us, and we’ve got some intriguing matchups this weekend with Indianapolis visiting Baltimore, New England visiting San Diego, Seattle visiting Chicago, and Philadelphia visiting New Orleans. While we’re not “picking” officially, I personally am going to go with Indianapolis, New England, Chicago, and New Orleans.

That last matchup- PHI @ NO- is the one our good friend Bill Williamson (whom one could potentially refer to as “Our Lovable Fatman” on account of his various chins) of the Denver Post and MSNBC has decided to tackle as the subject of his latest article ridiculous rant. Let it be known that I actually do like Philadelphia this weekend and believe they’ve got a decent chance.

Without further ado,


By Bill Williamson

MSNBC contributor

Updated: 14 minutes ago

When the helmets of the two Super Bowl teams are painted onto the field at Dolphins Stadium, it come down to this

22 words in, and already two mistakes. First one is, eh, kind of nitpicking, but the Miami Dolphins actually play at “Dolphin Stadium” not “Dolphins Stadium.” The second one goes without mention.

: A powerful, worthy AFC team will be readying for a NFC team that survived a postseason full of question marks.

As it stands right now, I would argue that every team in the AFC has some sort of question mark. The Colts can’t stop anyone from running all over them, the Ravens’ offense isn’t particularly impressive, the Patriots don’t have a terribly good surrounding cast around T. Brady- who himself is overrated- and the Chargers would be fooling themselves by thinking they have a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in P. Rivers.

In the NFC, the Super Bowl participant won’t be a celebration of domination and success.

That’s what I thought last year. Then I witnessed the Seattle Seahawks following their Championship Game victory. Soon afterwards, a rampant TV remote demolished my TV. Those two events were somehow connected, I still feel.

The team with the least issues will emerge.

Thanks for the enlightenment. Instead of feeding us the standard “The Best Team Will Win,” you’ve gone with the not-so-standard “The Not Worst Team Will Win.” Truly eye opening.

And that’s why you must keep an eye on the Philadelphia Eagles.

I wrote that eye comment before reading this sentence. I swear.

A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways.

Hold on a second. Read that sentence one more time:

A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways.

Let its supreme profundity seep deep within yourself… five more times.

A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways. A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways. A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways. A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways. A couple of moths ago, this seemed absurd in so many ways.

Congratulations. You’re now more qualified than the editors at MSNBC. Oh, and Our Lovable Fatman.

With quarterback Donavan McNabb — the Eagles’ leader and best player went down for the year with a torn ACL in his knee — on the sidelines, there appeared to be no way the Eagles could contend for a playoff spot, let alone a Super Bowl berth.

Are you sure you didn’t mean to write “birth.” Or “burth” maybe.

But as we prepare for the divisional playoffs, the Eagles seem like the steadiest in the unsteady conference.

Interesting argument, and one that might have some merit. Let’s hear it.

Get past the McNabb issue — and the Eagles clearly have with the inspired, resurgent play of journeyman quarterback Jeff Garcia — and Philadelphia have fewer questions that the other NFC contenders.

Thanks for repeating the exact same thing. Also, your tendency to write a completely new sentence inside dashes is kind of annoying.

The No. 1-seeded Bears, who play host to the Seahawks on Sunday, can’t be looked at as a sure thing. In fact, Chicago has as many trouble spots heading into the postseason as any top seed in recent memory. Quarterback Rex Grossman has regressed at a terrifying rate and doesn’t have his teammates’ confidence. The vaunted Chicago defense has injuries and isn’t as nasty as it was at midseason.

The defense isn’t as “nasty.” Great argument. Way to not use stats, numbers, or even game scores to show any sort of trend.

In case anyone’s wondering, Chicago’s last game before “midseason”- 8 games in- saw them give up 31 points… to the Miami Dolphins.

No. 2 seed New Orleans — who the Eagles visit on Saturday — is powerful on offense, but on defense, the Saints aren’t foolproof. They have given up 30-plus points in a quarter of their games.

You say this stat as if it means something. Sadly, it doesn’t. The New Orleans Saints have given up 30-plus points in 4 out of their 16 games. In reality, it would be only 3 games if you throw out their garbage season closer against Carolina. Anyways, anyone care to take a guess as to how many times Philly’s given up 30+? That’s right. 3 out of 16.

And the Saints enter the postseason losers of two of their past three games.

Good God. If you’re going to hold the Saints’ season ending game against them, something is wrong. And in case you’ve already forgotten, their one victory was a convincing 30-7 victory against the New York Giants… the very team the Eagles slipped by in the Wild Card game off of a game ending field goal.

Seattle is barely breathing. It finished the season in a major slump. Its stars aren’t playing well and the only reason the Seahawks will be in Chicago this weekend is because of Tony Romo’s wobbly hands.

The only reason Seattle will be in Chicago is because the NFC West is a joke.

The Eagles? Well, the Eagles are cruising along.

Cruising along to nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat, game-winning-field-goal-kicking thrillers against the likes of Eli Manning and Co. At Home. Yep, definitely cruising.

The Eagles don’t have a lot of issues and are playing the best football of any team in the conference.

Except for, arguably, the Saints. And the Bears.

That’s why, remarkably, this team may be the best bet to represent the conference in the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 4

Here’s Lovable Fatman’s argument thus far:

1. Chicago sucks (They’re not nasty enough)

2. New Orleans sucks (Their backups lost to Carolina)

3. Eagles rock (No argument necessary other than that they (a) are cruising, (b) don’t have a “lot” of issues, and (c) are cruising)

We have to get past the idea that this team is a liability without McNabb. Yes, McNabb is a first-rate quarterback, better than Garcia. But the Eagles are playing balanced, solid football with Garcia in the lineup. The Eagles were 5-5 with McNabb. They are 6-1 since.

I’ve never been one to put too much stock into records with and without a specific player. Football, for one, depends on much more than one single factor, be it a quarterback or anything else. Second, this is just too small a sample size. Throw in the fact that the Garcia led Eagles have defeated such luminaries as the Falcons (by 7), the Panthers (by 3), the Redskins (by 2), and the Giants (twice), and all of a sudden that 6-1 record just doesn’t sound very impressive.

You have to understand Mama McNabb when she recently wrote on a website that she is a bit torn. She wants the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, but it would also make her son look bad.

Who cares? Just eat some Chunky Campbell’s Soup, and you can become strong like Matt Hasselbeck! And the… [drumroll]… Seattle Seahawks!

On the surface that is true.

I knew it.

But really, the Eagles’ late-season surge with Garcia is a testament to McNabb. With McNabb, the Eagles relied too much on his leadership and ability. Without McNabb, the Eagles have rallied. His teammates understand that Garcia needs their help. Everyone stepped up, including coach Andy Reid. He and his staff have presented masterful game plans.

I just read that above paragraph blurb of nonsense three times. And each time I read it, the stupider it got. Basically, what I think Bill is trying to say is that it’s thanks to McNabb being on the bench that Andy Reid and his coaching staff suddenly began coaching masterfully so that they could help J Garcia. Because… they didn’t have to present “masterful game plans” to D. McNabb because unlike McNabb, “Garcia needs their help.” Now that the Eagles aren’t relying too much on McNabb’s leadership and ability, they’re playing awesome football. I mean, who needs ability when you have masterful game plans, and guys understanding each other, and guys stepping up, and all that other fuzzy stuff?

The Eagles have won six straight — including three straight road games.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’ve beaten, in order: Carolina, Washington, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, New York. Other than Dallas, there’s nothing to be all that awed by here.

While the wild-card win over the visiting New York Giants was sealed in the final seconds on a David Akers field goal, the Eagles were the better team all game.

Of course. Isn’t it common knowledge that in any game where one team was clearly superior to the other all game long, the score will inevitably be tied at 20-20 late in the game, with the inferior team’s thrown-under-the-bus quarterback making the other team look silly by converting a 1st and 30 and then rifling in a touchdown pass to a wide open P. Burress in the endzone?

They were solid on offense and defense.

They were solid on defense? Really? When was the last time you saw a quarterback lead his team to a touchdown after facing 1st and 30? Let alone the fact his name is E. Manning.

In addition to Garcia managing the offense well and not trying to do too much.

Oh Lovable Fatman, your articles are truly great. Now… where’s that John Buck when you need him.

The Eagles running game has come alive.

Yeah, yeah. Got any more clichés?

Running back Brian Westbrook has taken McNabb’s place as the focal point of the offense. He has five 100-yard rushing games in the past two months. Against the Giants last week, Westbrook ran for 141 yards.

5 100-yard rushing games in the past two months? Can’t you think of a more arbitrary stat?

Throughout the roster, this team has stepped up to the challenge since McNabb was carted off the field Nov. 19 at against Tennessee.

At against Tennesee? Don’t you mean “where at inside upon wherein against at”?

The defense has purpose.

Yes, Bill, every defense has a purpose. To play defense. In fact, oddly enough, that may even be the reason it’s called a “defense.”

It won’t be scared to face the Saints’ attack this weekend.

It won’t matter if they’re “scared” or not. The only thing that really matters is the number 45- the number of points they gave up the last time they faced a quarterback of D. Brees’ caliber.

It has the confidence that the entire Philadelphia organization has.

Who the hell really cares how confident the Philadelphia organization is.

The Eagles are playing like a team that wants to go to the Super Bowl. And in the NFC, that may be enough.

Yeah, sum up your article with the lamest argument in existence- they “want” to win. The Bears? Pfff. What reason could they possibly have for wanting to win? And the Saints?

Come on… anyone who could come up with a reason for why the New Orleans Saints would want to win in the Louisiana Superdome of New Orleans at their New Orleans Home located in New Orleans, Louisiana is an absolute genius.


Laser Stream said...

Baltimore, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia. Book it.

Enter Sandman said...

Book my New England.